TagClutter

Lessons in Minimalism

This weekend I read The Minimalists journey into minimalism. They broke it down into 21 days and explained minimalism to them isn’t getting rid of things for the sake of getting rid of them but to declutter your life.

It was an eye-opening read. They set forth their plan from the beginning where the should became a must. When something is a should in life, it’s not a high enough priority to get done. When something turns into a must then it will be done because it’s no longer optional. By changing something from should to must, it means you’re dedicated to doing it because you must do it.

They walk through their planning and packing all their worldly belongings and only unpacking what they needed as they needed it. They talked about getting support for their lifestyle choice, how to get rid of all the stuff they no longer needed and even how minimalism played into their healthy choices.

I am not headed down a route into minimalism myself. Though I have taken some of their practices and ideas to heart. After reading the 21 articles, I felt motivated to get up and sort through all of my clothing.

I made a donate and a trash pile. Anything in good shape that didn’t fit anymore is going to Goodwill this week. Anything in poor shape is being trashed.

Now that I’ve freed up space in my closet and dresser I am free to get new clothes that fit properly and have fewer holes in them.

I’ve also been going through all the various electronics I have lying around and selling what I can sell and preparing others to donate.

I hold on to many parts and items because I think I may need them someday. The truth is I rarely need them and they’re just taking up space in my apartment and in my life.

I am not trying to make any huge changes but I am focused on a series of small changes to improve my life. Decluttering is just one of those changes.

Comfortable Surroundings

The environment you live in directly affects how you feel. I am not talking necessarily about the world outside your physical address but the space within. Recently, my wife and I moved from a too-small-for-us, cluttered apartment to a nearly 1,00 square foot condo unit we’re renting. The change has been a breath of fresh air.

Instead of an overflowing kitchen with a book shelf and a dresser needed to hold all our pots and pans, we now have a spacious kitchen with drawers and cabinets to spare. Instead of an apartment lacking real closets, with Target and IKEA acquired shelving units suffocating our dining area, we have a series of huge closets.

The list goes on but the point is made. The new place is much more open and as a result, there is less clutter everywhere. There are less piles. The entire place feels more open, airy and inviting. As a result, my mood has been uplifted. I no longer feel dread about coming home. I feel happiness. I look forward to it everyday.

I feel freer. I feel more alike and awake. I am inspired to wind down on our couch and write late into the night about whatever comes to my mind. I feel as a gust of fresh air was blown into my life and into my new home.

I am excited for the change and the creative opportunities this new space will hold.

I don’t take the New Year as my opportunity to rethink my habits and resolutions. I take the moving to a new place as the start of a new page of my life. The year is just a number on a calendar. But a new place to live offers up such a bounty of exciting and endless possibilities. The layout and decoration of the space. How the space will be utilized.

The simple fact that we now have freedom to devote portions of our living area to projects where before we never had the space to devote anything to any one task.